Wednesday, 27 May 2009
I could have spent all day in the Glass House. Jean went off to view other parts of the garden, whilst I went round a second time. I was impressed by the collection of leaf Begonias, finding so many which my parents grew in Mauritius. One with a curly whirly leaf caught my eye, it certainly has the Wow factor given its texture and colours.
As I looked up round one corner, I had the sixth sense when I looked up that I was back there, it was not until I read one of the labels that I realised that I was looking at a tree which is indigenous to the Islands in that area of the Indian Ocean.
One section of the glass house is devoted to cacti and succulents and I was fascinated by the variety on show. They were well set out and clearly marked. This goes for all the garden, and I made notes regarding names as I have several in the garden know by such names as snippet from such and suches garden. It is quite nice to have plants which remind me of friends and places from long ago, and I do make sure that I take cuttings from these when I move home. One which I have now been growing very successfully on a windowcill, having acquired it as a very small plant about 5 years ago at the Wroughton Gardening Club, now has a name: Gasteria carinata. My plant is as good as this one, and has just thrown up two flower spikes. It is ready to divide up now, and I shall repot into clay pots.
In the shop I found a nice guide to the family, spot the mistake regarding watering!
For people who love the colour purple this is the begonia for you....wonderful!
Monday, 25 May 2009
Except for the lunch at the National Library, our food experiences were rather poor, until we came across the Treehouse Organic Foodshop and Restaurant. Seating is on the first and second floors, with lovely views from the windows. I had a delicious saffron rissotto with roast fennel, red peppers, olive and goatcheese, and was amazed that this Spanish Dish was cooked by a German Chef in a Welsh Town!
A real must is the museum. We could have gone back again. Part of its charm is that it is in a Restored Edwardian Theatre. There were fine examples of Welsh Furniture, and other crafts. The whole interior of a one room croft had been painstakingly put together. I was touched by the fine love spoons which the helpful and knowledgeable receptionist explained were the equivalent of engagement rings.
I checked out the local yarn shop, hoping to find some local wool. Sadly they did not have any, but I came away with a pattern for a bunny with a jumper. They had the pattern in the window, which they sell to raise funds for a local charity.
We had seen a fine public building perched up above the town, it was the National Library of Wales. We spent a full and excellent morning looking around the public galleries. For anyone interested in the Welsh culture it would have been overwhelming. For our part, we became immersed in the art exhibitions, photographs and ancient books.
I was amazed by the wonderful chairs which are awarded to the winners of Eisteddfords. The chairs were more like thrones, with carvings so exquisite. I would like to learn more about this tradition, and whether people got to keep their chairs, who sponsored and paid for the chairs etc. The building itself completed in 1955, with its fine interior, is well worth looking at. We had lunch in the restaurant, then walked up to the Arts Centre at Aberystwyth University.
After looking at the ceramics exhibition, we checked out what was on and booked to see 'She Stoops to Conquer' by Oliver Goldsmith. Mappa Mundi are to be congratulated, there was never a dull moment, and the cast were word perfect. Timing, costume and humour combined to create an excellent evening's entertainment.
It was up on the cliff looking over Borth Beach, and through a path across one garden, one came to the coastal path. We walked south past the Monument, and came down to this lovely cove. As we started downwards I was stopped in my tracts by a delicious warm smell reminiscent of pineapple coconut cakes in Mauritius, and was totally surprised to find the source. No wonder the bees and insects are attracted to the billowing yellow mounds of Gorse. Coming up from the beach, I was enchanted by the way the sea pink or thrifts festooned the cliff edges.
Borth beach with its long line of sea side houses, stretches to an area of sand dunes. We parked up on the shore of the estuary, looking over towards Aberdyfi, and I was amused by the notice which warned that the parking disappears at high tide. The view of the mountains beyond was spectacular.
The beach beyond the dunes is delightful, and I can just imagine the crowds in the Summer. We sat in the sun, and felt the gentle breeze and it was peaceful and good.
The countryside was beautiful, with the hills blanketed with oak woodland, leaves just unfurling, and from a distance yellow with the flowers. Bluebells, primroses and violets, gorse and sea thrift all jostling up through the lush grass.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
The white bluebells are still quite small. I wonder whether they are a true English Bluebell or have hybridised.